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Windows server+RemoteFx Questions

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I have some questions, and need somebody to think about it for me. lol

I am working on building a Lan Gaming Store. Pretty basic. People come here to play together in a pretty awesome environment. I am looking at different ways from setting up this store front. Either from dropping lans, monitors, and power. Then you bring your own computers, but there are pros and cons to that. Then having all the computer hardware here, and they just show up to play, again pros and cons again.

Now I stumbled as I was playing around with my windows server 2012 and Hyper-V.
RemoteFX. I know that has been around since 2008, but I never really looked into, because no need really for me. I started to read into for the past hour, and it looks pretty interesting.

I was wondering if I could Non-highend Computers+Server w/ multiple GPU's installed+HyperV Virtualizing+RemoteFX = Cheaper solution.

Now the only part I am stumped on is how to get to it. I know I can just remote desktop, but is there a way where they turn on the computer, and boom they are booted into the virtual machine with RemoteFX and they are gaming together then happy ever after the end? haha.

Now I know I cant just install those few roles and hope everything is going to work. There is going to be some networking hours involved. I am just trying to figure out the guidelines before I start researching into the way I am going to do this.
Thanks,

Steve
post #2 of 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by badboy2020 View Post

I have some questions, and need somebody to think about it for me. lol

I am working on building a Lan Gaming Store. Pretty basic. People come here to play together in a pretty awesome environment. I am looking at different ways from setting up this store front. Either from dropping lans, monitors, and power. Then you bring your own computers, but there are pros and cons to that. Then having all the computer hardware here, and they just show up to play, again pros and cons again.

Now I stumbled as I was playing around with my windows server 2012 and Hyper-V.
RemoteFX. I know that has been around since 2008, but I never really looked into, because no need really for me. I started to read into for the past hour, and it looks pretty interesting.

I was wondering if I could Non-highend Computers+Server w/ multiple GPU's installed+HyperV Virtualizing+RemoteFX = Cheaper solution.

Now the only part I am stumped on is how to get to it. I know I can just remote desktop, but is there a way where they turn on the computer, and boom they are booted into the virtual machine with RemoteFX and they are gaming together then happy ever after the end? haha.

Now I know I cant just install those few roles and hope everything is going to work. There is going to be some networking hours involved. I am just trying to figure out the guidelines before I start researching into the way I am going to do this.
Thanks,

Steve

Since you posted it here and messaged me, I will respond here for all to see.

1.) RemoteFX was not designed for gaming, but instead designed with workstation graphics cards in mind (Nvidia Quadro and AMD FirePro), for applications involving 3D rendering, CADD, etc. That's not to say it can't be done with gaming, but your performance is likely not to be optimal, and you won't get any support from Microsoft of the game vendor for it.

2.) Your licensing costs is going to be way more than hardware costs. You will need a Server 2012 R2 license, and your choices are Standard or Datacenter. Standard allows for 4 VMs running, and I'm guess you will have more than 4 VMs. You will also need more than 1 server (if your main server goes down, your business goes down). So you will need at least two servers, both with Server 2012 R2 Datacenter, and 1 license costs ~$4,000 for a dual CPU server. So that is ~$8,000 in OS licensing. Plus, you will need your RDS CALs, which is something like $20/ea (and I would highly recommend per device, and not per user). Let's say 25 devices; that's another $500 for licensing.

3.) Hardware wise, you would need at least two servers still under warranty, so that will likely be ~$4,000 for both. Plus GPUs, which I would recommend getting RemoteFX supported GPUs which will cost you $500+ each. You can get a FirePro W7000 GPU with 4GB of RAM for about $650, which if you gave each VM 512Mb of RAM, you would need at least 3 of these cards to support 25 setups. Let's just go ahead and say two per server, so for your server hardware you are already talking about ~$6,000+. Plus multiple switches ($500 each), plus your thin clients ($250 each x 25), that's another $7250. Not to mention a rack, build a server closet if you don't have one, cooling, power distribution, and redundant power.

4.) Lastly, is your storage requirements (you will likely want to get some sort of SAN with 12+ SSDs and do RAID 10s. You shouldn't need a lot of storage, but you want it to be fast. This way you could do pooled VMs with differencing disks, instead of having to install every game on every VM. Even if you bought something like a Dell PowerVault MD1200 second hand for $1000, you could load it with 12 256GB SSDs (consumer grade) at $150 each, that's $2800 for ~1.5TB of fast storage (should be enough for your game severs and VMs).

To recap, your initial investment costs will be somewhere in the $20,000 range, on the low end for the infrastructure. Lets not forget other servers for things like hosting your own local game servers. If you want to think of it another way, 25 stations with a $20,000 budget comes out to about $800 a workstation. Can you build a gaming computer for less? Probably. You could save money by going second hand, but you loose support.

High availability is a must for any business critical application. Why would anyone come to your place to game if they had to be concerned with downtime or things not working?

Oh, and the only way to get to a VM with RemoteFX hardware is through RDP. Without using the RDP protocol, you loose the ability to use RemoteFX. You would run something like Windows 7 Thin PC on your thin clients, and you could set them to auto-login to one of your guest VMs that already have the games installed.
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